English Includes Words From Hundreds Of Languages

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  • If you're reading this column, you obviously speak English. You might not know, though, that you also speak more than a hundred different languages -- a little bit of them, anyway. Because English has borrowed from numerous other languages, the average English-speaker's vocabulary includes words from at least 100 languages.
  • A sportsman in Ohio once held up an 8-inch fish he had just caught, showing it off to his buddies. Unfortunately for both him and the fish, it wriggled out of his hand and somehow fell into his mouth, causing him to choke to death on his not-quite-dead trophy.
  • A small town in New Jersey wanted to have the same status with the government as national parks, so the citizens renamed the town National Park. It didn't work -- the government evidently saw through the ruse and turned down their request.
  • The National Football League goes through a lot of footballs in one season. Those who study such things say it takes 3,000 cows to supply the NFL with the leather they need for all of them.
  • Many U.S. presidents have been golfers, but not all of them have been particularly good. Gerald Ford once hit someone with a ball (by accident, presumably). Afterward, he reportedly remarked, "I know I'm getting better because I'm hitting fewer spectators."
  • It's getting to be the time of year again when people everywhere procrastinate about filing their taxes. Tax season can certainly be a trying time, making people do strange things. For instance, an Internal Revenue Service office in Indianapolis once fielded a call from an irate woman who demanded to speak to the computer.
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  • Thought for the Day: "A criminal is a person with predatory instincts without sufficient capital to form a corporation." -- Howard Scott

© 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

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